Why Laundry Is the Competitive Edge Landlords Need

The rental market is volatile - and competitive. To get the most out of your property, offer what tenants want.

There are more than 107 million renters in the United States - that's nearly one-third of the total population. To attract high-quality, reliable tenants, property owners need to offer the right amenities - and in most cases that includes laundry.

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In fact, according to the National Apartment Association, adding a washer and dryer to your rental property can increase revenue by 15 percent. When it comes to adding laundry to your rentals, you have options. "You see a pretty significant premium for in-unit washers and dryers," says Matt Conn, global marketing director, commercial laundry product development and marketing at Whirlpool Corporation. "You even see a slight rent premium for central, on-site laundry."

In-unit features

When it comes to selecting washer and dryer units for your building, it's crucial to select models that offer the features that empower tenants and solve their problems.

"A big trend is more and more connected laundry, and the flexibility and freedom that offers," says Shawn Ashby, a Whirlpool laundry brand manager at Whirlpool Corporation. "You can get a notification on your phone that says, 'Hey, your wash is done' and you can go transfer it. And if you're not there, now you can enable a feature called FanFresh on select front load washers, that will keep that load fresh for up to 12 hours or until you get back and are able to transfer it over to the dryer."

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Another trend is flexibility in both cycles and capacity. Whirlpool just introduced washers with a removable agitator, for example, that allows for larger items like comforters to be washed. And washers with a range of cycles to match lifestyles are attractive to potential tenants. Since the choice of washer or dryer is out of the tenants' hands, selecting a model that lets them customize their use is very empowering.

Communal benefits

While in-unit laundry might seem best, there are distinct advantages to a central laundry site. According to a recent study conducted by Assurant, 73 percent of multi-housing building residents say more living space is their top priority. Shared laundry facilities open up living space inside apartments, giving tenants what they want. Additionally, a communal laundry area offers some unexpected benefits. "It tends to be a community space," notes Conn. "It's a place where people come and actually meet their neighbors and develop a sense of community."

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The return on investment

A key take-away concerning laundry at your rental property is that there is a return on your investment whether you choose in-unit residential units or a communal space filled with commercial-grade machines.

In-unit, residential washers and dryers are attractive to tenants because they offer convenience and control. "What people look for in laundry is, how can I reduce my time doing this necessary chore so I can spend more time doing stuff that matters to me," says Ashby.

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On the other hand, centralized laundry can generate revenue, and commercial machines typically offer higher capacity, longer service, and are more easily repaired. And if one washer unit breaks down residents can still get their clothes washed, but when in-unit pairs break down they must scramble for alternatives.

Ashby believes choosing the right appliance - and manufacturer - makes all the difference when investing in your property. "Whether you need in-unit or commercial units for communal laundry," he says, "Whirlpool Corporation has a solution offering the competitive edge you need."

For additional details about appliance offerings from Whirlpool Corporation, contact a sales rep today. Keep up with other trends and news in your industry by visiting The Trade Channel page on Whirlpool Pro.

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